The main function of a diving watch is very simple; to keep water out, so it can keep working. The problem is that even electronic diving watches need holes in the case for buttons to control the movement. Ideally, the case should be one solid piece of metal for maximum strength, but the holes needed for the buttons are weak spots where water can seep in and quickly cause damage. The Superocean M2000 gets around this by completely eliminating the buttons.
The Superocean’s 46-mm steel case has a screw-in back, a 4-mm thick, glare-proof, cambered sapphire crystal, and a screw-locked, double-gasketed crown, but no buttons. Instead, it is controlled through the metal of the case by means of magnetic pushpieces. Since there are no holes, the case is much stronger and watertight even at extreme depths. There’s also a decompression valve that vents any helium that might have seeped inside during a visit to a decompression chamber on a mixed gas dive and would damage the timepiece by blowing up the case like a balloon on a return to surface pressure.
Like all classic diving watches, the Superocean has luminescent, oversized hands and hour markers that are easy and unambiguous to read in dim underwater light, and the black rubber-molded bezel is ratcheted to only move anti-clockwise, so that if it’s bumped, it will show a greater elapsed dive time instead of a shorter one, which could be dangerous during decompression.
The SuperQuartz, thermocompensated quartz electronic movement is chronometer certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and Breitling says it’s 10 times more accurate than a standard quartz movement. It has a fast-action timezone change feature, and is a chronograph capable of recording down to a tenth of a second and up to 12 hours. In addition, the watch comes with a choice of a leather, Diver Pro, Ocean Racer, or Professional III strap.
The Superocean M2000 is priced at US$3,575 and is available in polished steel or a special Blacksteel edition limited to 250 units, which feaure a satin-brushed steel case in black made by a high-resistance carbon-based treatment and a white-edged black leather strap.